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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Gallery Bruddah Bear - Mudpies, etc.
Bruddah Bear - Mudpies, etc.
Bruddah Bear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 07, 2011
Posts: 628
From: Los Angeles Basin, Westside
Posted: 2011-05-20 01:36 am   Permalink

Yep, that's right folks. Another one of those people who messes around with clay. I dabbled with clay a few times in elementary school, as most students did in my day. It was the usual class art project for your parents, hand print in a clay disk, small free form blob sculpture, etc. Then when I was a junior in High School I took my first formal ceramics class, and enjoyed it tremendously. Unfortunately there were only 2 semesters available in my HS.

After graduation I went to the local community college part time and eventually got around to taking ceramics again. Another 2 semesters and I had to go to work full time and earn some money. Spent some time at another local CC in a different city during the intervening years, but I never got around to taking ceramics again until recently. Reading through the many great threads on this forum, and being amazed and inspired by the fantastic artists here, I wanted to get back into ceramics so that I could express my inner tiki in clay.

So, last semester I returned to the same CC I attended right after HS. I could remember quite a bit about the hands on how to work with clay, but after a 27 year absence from the studio, I was a bit vague on the technical details I may need pass a more advanced class. I wanted to go back to the beginning, cover the basics and get my rusty techniques back up to speed. But, there was a problem, you can't enroll in a class you've previously taken and passed with a grade of C or better. Well, crap. Damn me for getting A's in the Introduction to Ceramics class and Ceramics 1. Then the nice lady in admissions told me that I could "audit" the class for no grade if I got the instructor's approval, so to the instructor I went for his approval.

It's a mixed blessing to sit in a class and be responsible for all the same requirements that all the other students have, but knowing that no matter how good your pieces are, the grade means nothing. It was fun none the less, I tended to impress my instructor, inspire some of the other students (and be pushed further by a few of them as well), and share techniques and what nuggets of knowledge I could with those who were interested.

When the class projects are predetermined by the instructor, and those projects must be completed for meeting the class requirements, you are a bit limited in what leeway you have in the design of your pieces. I was able to stretch those limits as often and as far as I could when circumstances (time available and approaching deadlines) permitted. I was even able to sneak a bit of tiki in there.




Here is some of my work (sorry about the lousy images, it was the best my camera could do);



Project 1 - Tea Bowls (x2), pinch pot construction, simple texture application, to be test pieces for two color glaze scheme (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? That's it? Okay)





Project 2 - Tea Bowls (x2), pinch pot construction, added clay design elements, to be used as test pieces for two color glaze scheme (More of the same easy stuff? Okay)





Project 3 - Head Bell, pinch pot (x2) construction, added clay and pierced/cutout face design elements, to be used as test piece for stains (A face? He he he, it's going to be as TIKI as I can sneak in there then)





Project 4 - Vessel with Animal Design, coil construction, 10"-12" tall, with added clay animal design elements (This isn't too tough, first concept was abandoned after one class session, second "cooler" concept abandoned after three class sessions, altered pot started for first concept and went with completely different third concept. Base of pot collapsed and buckled upon itself 1 class session before build due date. Scramble to repair and complete animal application in time. Whew)






Project 5 - Formed Vessel (x2) rolled slab molded around form (cylinder, square, etc.) construction, at least 8" tall, added clay, pierced/cutout, textured, or altered form design (Cool, some leeway, and I can bang out slab pots all day long, 2 quick ones to satisfy class requirements)





Then a little extra credit (that I won't get credit for either), but it will be TIKI... Well, sort of. Stains on outside, glazed inside, cold painted Mickey after glaze firing)





What can I say? My son really likes Micky Mouse. It was inspired by this...





Project 6 - Box with Fitted Lid, slab construction, 6"x6"x6" (mine was built a bit larger), added clay, etched surface/texture, or under glaze design elements (I made a my son a mini box as well, similar in design to the big one, original concept for decoration deferred when I failed to locate proper stensils before due date. Still turned out okay)





I was trying to finish off the last of a 25lb bag of clay and threw this next piece together as an experiment in texture techniques and playing with under-glaze, stains and glaze interaction, plus it was a touch more tiki infusion (I even torched it for the instructor when he came by to grade/critique but "not grade" my work) It's small for a volcano bowl, but it was practice if you will, not really for serving drinks out of.





Final Project - Tea Set of Architectural Design, Tray (x1), Tea Pot (x1), Tea Cups (x2-more), design influenced by building, house, street scene, etc. For our final we would put all the architectural tea sets together like a little town, explain the influences, how we made it construction techniques, glazes, etc., and critique everyone's work (Cool, I can get into this). Tray to be approx 10"x12" (I went bigger), tea pot and cups supposed to be functional (mine are, though many students wound up just making non-functional sculptural pieces. My original idea was to make a tropical hut, but as I thought about how I would go about it I had what I felt was a better idea if I could pull it off, my instructor and the head of the ceramics dept. both were a bit skeptical at first)





My instructor was awesome, he was born and raised in Japan. Around the area where he grew up he would go out into the hill, woods, fields and dig up pottery shards from the Jomun period. He didn't know if it was legal to do so, but he did it all the time when he was a kid, the stuff was everywhere. He brought some examples into class one day. We got to examine them, pass them around. Do you know just how awe inspiring it is to hold a piece of pottery that was made 3000 years ago?

Not quite THAT old, here's an example of what I was doing 27 years ago (All I could find atm. I should have more pieces somewhere, it's either in storage that I can't access right now, or it's lost)





And some mugs I made in '79/'80 in HS (My inner Tiki hadn't taken root yet, but at least they're mugs)








Well, that's my story, and where I came from ceramics-wise. I was hoping to be in a class (or at least auditing one again) this semester, but due to our state budget woes the daytime Ceramics 1 & 2 classes were all canceled and I couldn't swing the night class due to a conflict. I'm hoping to get back into a class in the Fall so I can turn out some more tiki pieces, but we'll have to see. I could sure stand some more studio time, I'm suffering clay withdrawal.


Thanks for looking.


Bear




[ This Message was edited by: Bruddah Bear 2013-04-09 11:23 ]


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7075
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2011-05-27 9:39 pm   Permalink

BB, I had missed this post. So glad you got to take this course again before they canceled education. Hope you get a chance to get in some more studio time.

Several cool pieces there, is the drawbridge the spout for the teapot? Clever. The dragon mug is fun, I like that glaze on the dragon, looks metallic.

Mike
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Bruddah Bear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 07, 2011
Posts: 628
From: Los Angeles Basin, Westside
Posted: 2011-05-27 11:54 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-05-27 21:39, MadDogMike wrote:
Several cool pieces there, is the drawbridge the spout for the teapot? Clever. The dragon mug is fun, I like that glaze on the dragon, looks metallic.




Thanks a bunch Mike!

Yes, the draw bridge is the spout for the teapot. That's the main thing the instructor was concerned about when I explained the concept to him, he was worried the weight and angle of the drawbridge would cause it to droop, tearing the piece apart. It was built out of a few narrow bars of clay sandwiched lengthwise between 2 thin slabs with one end sealed, a hole was cut into the underside (seen in the pics) and the assembly scratch and slip attached into the body of the pot itself. all wood grain texture applied with a needle tool. And it's functional, so the instructors were impressed that it worked. The plan was to attach some thin chain between the castle wall and drawbridge with some epoxy and wire hoops after the piece was finished, haven't gotten around to that yet.

The pics really don't do many of the pieces proper justice. The dragon isn't exactly what I'd call a mug, it stands 12.5 inches at it's highest point and easily holds over 3 quarts, but it's got some cracks through the wall of the upper portion so it weeps a bit (a product of the collapse and rebuild then drying unevenly I'm guessing, hoped they would seal in the glaze fire), no good for drinking out of.

The glaze isn't metallic though it may appear to be in the pics. It's a thick glaze called Oribe (Ori-bey) over another glaze called Winokur Yellow on some details with a green stain under the glaze. Oribe is one of those glazes that can be unpredictable at times depending on how it's applied. It turned out a dark blue-green with some thinner spots going yellow to reddish brown. The vessel itself was done in a glaze called Celladon over a wash of green stain. The thickness of the Oribe kind of obliterated much of the detail, so if I had to do it all over again I would just have done the green stain wash and Celladon glaze overall and not had the dragon so contrasting to the vessel. Oh well, next time.

I still have several pounds of unused clay sitting around,
Laguna WC-431 LBW-70 (Long Beach White), the other clay available for us was Laguna WC-379 B-Mix. Both are high fire clays. I suppose I could actually build something, but I couldn't fire it until next Fall (and only if I can get into a class, if it's even available). And I'm sure I don't need to tell you about the fragility of green ware, and the problems presented with trying to keep it in one piece over the course of several months.

You'd probably love the school studio, it's big and roomy, has moist storage room, drying room, glazing room, and it has 3 gas fueled updraft kilns that are usually fired in reduction to cone 10. There are also 2 large electric kilns that are sometimes employed to get through all the firing, especially at end of term when the pieces pile up. It's a nice facility, but it's only open 2 days a week due to budget cut induced class cancellations. But it's a similar story all over campus, across all departments, not just art. Keeping my fingers crossed for the Fall.


Bear



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danlovestikis
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4481
Posted: 2011-05-30 08:54 am   Permalink

RUNNING DOWN YOUR THREAD WAS A JOY. MY FAVORITE IS THE VOLCANO BOWL, WENDY

 
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GROG
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 21, 2006
Posts: 6666
From: Tujunga
Posted: 2011-05-30 11:17 am   Permalink

Yay, another "ruiner"! Good stuff. Welcome to the club.
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GROG miss Tiki-Kate


 
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Bruddah Bear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 07, 2011
Posts: 628
From: Los Angeles Basin, Westside
Posted: 2011-05-30 10:25 pm   Permalink

Thanks Wendy and Ernie. To receive compliments on my pieces from such talented folks as the two of you, as well as Mike, means more than you could know.

Bear



 
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Bruddah Bear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 07, 2011
Posts: 628
From: Los Angeles Basin, Westside
Posted: 2011-07-10 10:46 pm   Permalink

Made for the Moai Madness art show;

Stylized Moai Mask
Hydrocal casting w/ acrylic paint
Approx: 12"H x 3.75"W x 1.5"D




Moai Head Figurine
Very low fire clay (bake in oven) w/ acrylic paint
Approx: 4"H x 1.8"W x 2"D




Sleeping Moai Figurine
Very low fire clay (bake in oven) w/ acrylic paint
Approx: 2.5"H x 4"W x 2.5"D






Bear




 
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RosemaryPosemary
Member

Joined: Dec 08, 2011
Posts: 1
From: Originally Culver City CA, now Lebanon T
Posted: 2011-12-08 07:12 am   Permalink

Hi Brudda...this is your sista Rosemary. Awesome, awesome clayworks! So glad you're doing something you love! Take care.

 
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Chuck Tatum is Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2011
Posts: 1674
From: Southern Cailifornia
Posted: 2011-12-08 1:17 pm   Permalink

Sorry I missed your thread before, digging the Moai, Bear
it's funny how the world of "Tiki" attracts creative folk
keep posting your works.


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7075
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2011-12-08 3:27 pm   Permalink

Yeah, I think it time for some new stuff!
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Haole Jim
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 17, 2009
Posts: 409
From: central coast metro Chicago
Posted: 2012-01-13 6:46 pm   Permalink

So fine. That reptile wrapping itself around the mug is great sculpting!

 
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Bruddah Bear
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 07, 2011
Posts: 628
From: Los Angeles Basin, Westside
Posted: 2013-04-09 11:50 am   Permalink


Been a long time since I checked this thread, and what do I find? That my younger sister actually joined the forum to post on this thread and I missed it. Damn, another personal sanctuary invaded. Just kidding. Doesn't look like she's been back since though.

Thank you for the compliments Rosemary, Chuck (sniggers quietly), and Jim.

Mike, yeah, I need to somehow get access to a kiln somewhere. I'm missing the mud, been sketching a bit and playing with some Roma Plastilina #3, kicking some ideas around. If finances were better I'd already have had some new stuff out there. Still working on it.

Bear



 
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danlovestikis
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4481
Posted: 2013-04-10 08:10 am   Permalink

Lids are the hardest project. Your boxes look real, I'm impressed. Good job, Wendy
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